Dr. Norvel Leon Hayes, 91, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at his home.
He was born on April 20, 1927, to the late Charles and Arizona Lewis Hayes.
He came from a family of hard workers and farmers, and as Norvel got older he started his first job as a bus boy making $2 a day. The day he started work it changed his life. Through the years, he became one of the most well-known business men and started numerous businesses in Indianapolis, Ind.
He met his first wife, Noreen Langdon, and together they had a daughter, Zona Hayes. Zona was the apple of Norvel’s eye. When Zona was 9, he decided to move back to Cleveland, where he started a few restaurants and businesses. He was actually the first person to bring pizza to Cleveland. He also owned the Yellow Cab Taxi Service here in Cleveland.
Norvel ended up giving his life to the Lord, and became one of the most well-known ministers of the gospel the world has ever seen. He traveled all over the world, spreading God’s word from Hong Kong, to Africa, to Australia, and so many more countries, including here in the United States. He started New Life Bible College in 1977, where he taught people how to win souls and walk by faith. He also started a community kitchen in 1988, located in Cleveland, where he fed people every day a hot meal. That vision is still going today, feeding over 1,300 people a month. Norvel also started a New Life Bible School and children’s home in India, and New Life Maternity Homes and Campus Challenge Ministries in several colleges and universities. He also authored over 50 books, and made many videos and CD’s.
He met his second wife, Maggie Combs, in the 1980s. They got married in 1997, until she went home to be with the Lord in 2016. Throughout the years and, until he went home to be with the Lord, Norvel lived a life of character and integrity and never compromised what he felt the Lord wanted him to do. The ministry that he has built will continue to go on and reach the world one more time through his granddaughter, Lee Cornelison. She will continue on with the ministry and vision God gave Norvel, with help from the staff at New Life Bible Church and Bible College.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandmother, Mammy Hayes; daughter, Zona Hayes Cornelison Morrow; siblings, Glenn Hayes and Dorothy Hayes Firestone; wife, Maggie Combs Hayes; son-in-law, Bobby Cornelison; and Zona’s mother, Noreen.
He is survived by his only granddaughter, Lee Cornelison; son-in-law, Terry Morrow; and cousins, Deanna Uhl, Nick Hayes and Dustin Hayes
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, at Omega Christian International (OCI) on Urbane Road in Cleveland. Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens.
His family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until noon at New Life Bible Church, prior to the service.
The family suggests that a donation may be made in memory of Dr. Hayes to: New Life Community Kitchen, 155 S. Ocoee St., Cleveland, TN 37311.
Fike-Randolph & Son Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Hayes family guestbook at www.fikefh.com.
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